I love Brussels sprouts. They are little tiny cabbages of joy. This recipe is one of the easiest ways to cook them. Balsamic reduction takes even inexpensive balsamic vinegar and turns it into something a bit more special. The cranberries are a nice touch and pop of flavor in this recipe for Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction.
Brussels sprouts are closely related to cabbage. Like other cruciferous vegetables, they are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to your diet. But many people say Brussels sprouts’ flavor is too pungent or strong. Surprisingly, this is a result of incorrect cooking procedure.
When selecting Brussels sprouts, look for firm, small tight heads and good green color. Avoid those that are mushy or drab green and yellow. Be sure to wash thoroughly before cooking. I prefer to soak mine in a vegetable wash for several minutes, and then rinse well before cooking.
Brussels sprouts can be boiled, steamed, stir fried, roasted, and even grilled. They can be cooked whole, cut into chunks, or thinly sliced. The biggest mistake you can make when cooking Brussels sprouts is overcooking. This is because they release a chemical called singrin as their cell walls break down. Sinigrin is a glucosinolate (actually a powerful antioxidant) that produces a strong sulphur flavor. So however you choose to cook your Brussels sprouts, use care to not overcook.
If cooking whole, cut off most of the stem portion of each sprout. You can also cut an X in the bottom of the stem so the tougher stalk will cook more evenly. When cooking sliced or shaved Brussels sprouts, watch carefully and stop cooking when the edges begin to brown and sprouts are tender.
These Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction are a great stand-alone dinner or a delicious side dish. Try them with Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce or Beyond Meat Bolognese.
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup dried cranberries, optional
Serve Brussels sprouts hot with a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Optional: add a sprinkling of dried cranberries for added sweetness.